On March 31, Apocalyptica chose Barts Pathology Museum at the Queen Mary University of London to perform a short acoustic set and treat a select number of fans to a playback of their forthcoming album ‘Shadowmaker’. Here’s what we learned…
**WE’VE NEVER BEEN TO A VENUE QUITE LIKE THIS **We’ve been to our fair share of album playbacks in our time, what with being super hip industry types, but we’ve never attended a session surrounded by dismembered hands, internal organs, conjoined twin skeletons and unusually shaped testicles. Not even once.
**THE NEW SINGER CAN BELT IT OUT **But it wasn’t just a case of standing around listening to a fancy stereo. Oh, no. The Finns played two new songs from their upcoming eighth album, including the title track with new vocalist Franky Perez (formerly of Scars On Broadway). Despite it being an acoustic session, Perez growled and screamed his throat out throughout – rattling the delicate jars of human parts on display around the room. That’s pretty metal.
**YOU CAN’T DENY METALLICA’S INFLUENCE **Even if you’re only semi-aware of Apocalyptica you’ll probably know them as ‘the guys that play Metallica on cellos’ because that’s how they made their name back in the late ‘90s. And tonight, we witnessed a beautiful and brooding rendition of Nothing Else Matters with strings warming the room and keeping all eyes transfixed on the Eicca, Paavo and Perttu’s impressive fingerwork. Which is good, because some of the exhibits were beginning to make us feel uncomfortable.
**DRUMMERS MUST HATE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS LIKE THIS **That being said, you’ve got to feel for drummer Mikko Sirén, who spent tonight patting a wooden box instead of kicking the crap out of his kit. Of course, it means we see more majestic performance in tonight’s haunting surroundings, but know this – it’ll be a very different beast when the Finns return at Download festival in June. Ooft!
**IF YOU LIKE APOCALYPTICA, YOU’LL LOVE ‘SHADOWMAKER’ **Considering the band have found such a winning formula, it would be hard for them to veer off so radically that hardcore fans won’t welcome Shadowmaker with open arms. The classical riffs from these virtuosos perfectly complement the addition of Franky’s voice to create a swelling, powerful soundsca… it still has cellos. You’re going to love it.
**Apocalyptica, live at Barts Pathology Museum, Queen Mary University of London, March 31, 2015 **Photos: Will Ireland
Apocalyptica’s new album, Shadowmaker will be released on April 20 through Eleven Seven Music. For more information on Barts Pathology Museum, click here.